The High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE)

The High Resolution Imaging Experiment is known as HIRISE. The big and powerful HIRISE camera takes pictures of Martian landscapes and is able to see features as small as a kitchen table. Here’s the tech specs about HiRISE camera:

  • Main job: to study active surface processes and landscape evolution
  • Location: on the Nadir side of the spacecraft looking down at Mars
  • Mass: ~143 pounds (65 kg), including thermal control system, cables, etc.
  • Power: 60 Watts
  • Size: ~5.2 feet (1.6 meters) long by ~2.9 feet(0.9 meter) diameter
  • Data Return: Can acquire images containing up to 28 Gb (gigabits) of data in as little as 6 seconds.
  • Color Quality: 14 electronic detectors, each covered by a filter in one of three wavelength bands: 400 to 600 nanometers (blue-green), 550 to 850 nanometers (red), or 800 to 1000 nanometers (near infrared), producing color images in the central portion of the field of view
  • Image Size: Pixel size in images taken from an altitude of 186 miles (300 kilometers) is about 12 inches (30 centimeters) across (about basketball-size). Overall image size is a swath width of 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) by a programmable image length of up to 37 miles (60 kilometers)
  • Image Resolution: Smallest resolvable features in the images are about 3 feet (~1 meter) across (features as small as a kitchen table in images covering swaths of Mars’ surface 3.7 miles, or 6 km wide)
  • Focal Length: ~40 feet (12 meters)
  • Focal Ratio and Field of View: f/24, yielding an IFOV of 1 x 1 ╬╝rad and a telescope FOV of 1.14 degrees x 0.18 degrees

Posted on July 1, 2021 Tags: